Quebec's First Nations remember 10,000 years of presence and 400 years of colonialism

    QUEBEC, Aug. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador (AFNQL) celebrated the International Day of the World's Indigenous
Peoples in a very original way today. In Quebec City's Place d'Youville, the
AFNQL decided to hold an event illustrating the difficult times experienced by
the First Nations since the arrival of the first French colonists. "We wanted
to remind people that there was life here before the arrival of Jacques
Cartier or Christopher Columbus. We have lived in this territory for more than
10,000 years. It is important to remember that fact, especially in this year
marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City," said Chief
Ghislain Picard.
    Chief Picard wanted to organize an information event presenting the
journey of the First Nations through the past four centuries. To do so,
historians Camil Girard and Denys Delâge and anthropologist Isabelle Picard
prepared an historical portrait of the presence of the First Nations in Quebec
and their relations with the newcomers from first contact to the present day.
    The AFNQL also stressed the importance of the United Nations Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the survival of the First Nations and
all of the world's Indigenous Peoples. A petition to this effect was signed by
the participants, urging Canada to comply with this important document and
calling for the Quebec National Assembly to pass a motion in support of the UN
    A number of First Nations artists, including Claude McKenzie, Marcel
Godbout, Samuel Savard, Wendy Moar Pascal Ottawa, Shauit and Samian enlivened
the event, with more than a hundred people in attendance.

For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Information and Communications
Agent, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020

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